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Winemaker and founding partner Jason Moore launched Modus Operandi and Vicarious wines in 2003. The winery's wines have been served at a historical White House State Dinner and have been highly lauded by the wine press.
The winery is known for Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and the Vicarious red blend, but a Pinot Noir is also offered from the Morris Ranch Vineyard in the Sonoma Coast.
2021 Modus Operandi Cellars Bacigalupi Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
15.0% alc., 100 cases, $75. Releasing January 2023. Vineyard has been planted and managed for the past 30 years by John Bacigalupi and his family. Harvest Brix 25.0º. 50% clone 777 and 50% clone 667. 100% de-stemmed and fermented in open-top tanks. Aged in French oak barrels, 50% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Muted aromas of blackberry jam, pine sap, herb garden and toasty oak. Full-bodied and richly endowed with very ripe purple and black berry fruit flavors framed by silky tannins. Goes down easy, with well-hidden hefty alcohol, and finishes with admirable length. Score: 90. Reviewed December 3, 2022 ARTICLE »
2021 Modus Operandi Cellars Gap’s Crown Vineyard Petaluma Gap/Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
15.0% alc., 150 cases, $85. Releasing January 2023. 60% clone 777 and 40% clone faux 828. Harvest Brix 25.7º. 100% de-stemmed and fermented in open-top tanks. Aged in French oak barrels, 50% new. · Dark garnet color in the glass. Muted aromas of well-ripened black cherry, dark rose petals, sous bois and dusty oak. Mid-weight plus in style with a core of boysenberry and black cherry fruit flavors that awaken the senses. The striking finish offers both intensities of fruit flavor and length. The pedigree of this vineyard shows through. The high alcohol peeks out as the wine warms in the glass. Score: 91. Reviewed December 3, 2022 ARTICLE »
2021 Modus Operandi Cellars UV-Laguna Vineyard Russian River Valley/Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
15.0% alc., 100 cases, $85. Releasing January 2023This vineyard was planted by Ulises Valdez Sr. in 2011. The soil is a unique mix of sand and dense clay known as “Sebastopol Clay.” The Pinot Noir benefits from the moisture trapped in the clay by allowing the grapes to achieve ripeness without excessive water stress during the warm summer months. 50% clone 777 and 50% clone 667. Harvest Brix 26.7º. 100% de-stemmed and fermented in open-top tanks. Aged in French oak barrels, 50% new. · Dark garnet color in the glass. Aromas of black raspberry, dark rose petals and wood shop. A middleweight-crafted wine with a core of cherry cola and baking spice flavors. There is a redder tone to the fruit than other wines in the 2021 lineup. The alcohol is well hidden and the tannins are silky. Score: 92. Reviewed December 3, 2022 ARTICLE »
2020 Modus Operandi Cellars Silver Eagle Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
14.25% alc., 50 cases, $85. Current release. This 30-acre vineyard is located north of Occidental in the Green Valley of Russian River Valley AVA. Vosne-Romanée selection. Harvest Brix 25.5º. 100% de-stemmed and fermented in open-top tanks. Aged in French oak barrels, 50% new. · Dark garnet color in the glass. Cooked fruit aromas of blueberry-pomegranate accompanied by some oak vanillin and a slight note of volatile acidity. Full-bodied, with layers of dark purple and black fruit flavors accented by an underlying earthy tone. Silky in the mouth with modest tannins. This wine is ripe fruit driven and with little nuance. Score: 87. Reviewed December 3, 2022 ARTICLE »